Saturday, October 11, 2008

High quality ingredients

I had a really delicious olive oil today. If you've ever tasted a superior olive oil, you know it's like tasting excellent wine or chocolate. You wonder how you ever got by on the average stuff.
I had this olive oil at a little restaurant called Rose's Restaurant in East Grand Rapids, MI. Not only was the food we ordered fresh and lovely, but the extras like the olive oil served with warm bread before the meal and a mini cup of caramel corn served after the meal hit the spot. I questioned the waitress on the seasonings in the olive oil, which she said was seasoned on site. A simple mix of red pepper, black pepper, oregano, and basil was infused in the oil. The real secret was the use of first press extra-virgin olive oil. This means the olive oil is made from the first pressing of the olives and there is very little oxidation of the oil. (I looked this up in my Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating in case you were wondering - I am no chemistry whiz.) Obviously this is not the type of oil I buy for cooking, which I can pour liberally into a pan with some button mushrooms or baby spinach. This is olive oil for salads and dipping bread and simple pasta dishes, or for drizzling over a plate of steamed asparagus immediately before serving. I'm inspired to go out and find a high quality oil and make my own dipping spice blend. Bring over some warm bread and we'll have a wonderful meal.


  1. Speaking of high quality ingredients...I stopped into Penzey Spices on Hennipen and they had the most amazing spices, rubs, and recipes. For any cook out there I highly recommend stopping in for quality seasonings at very reasonable prices. You can also find tons of delicious recipes throughout the store. At very least, make a trip for the smells. Enjoy!

  2. I love Penzey's too! This is the perfect segue to my latest post about spice blends. Thanks Katy!